The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Body and Embodiment

ISBN : 9780190842475

Natalie Boero; Katherine Mason
536 Pages
171 x 248 mm
Pub date
Dec 2020
Oxford Handbooks
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In popular debates over the influences of nature versus culture on human lives, bodies are often assigned to the category of "nature": biological, essential, and pre-social. The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Body and Embodiment challenges that view, arguing that bodies both shape and get shaped by human societies. As such, the body is an appropriate and necessary area of study for sociologists. The Handbook works to clarify the scope of this topic and display the innovations of research within the field. The volume is divided into three main parts: Bodies and Methodology; Marginalized Bodies; and Embodied Sociology. Sociologists contributing to the first two parts focus on the body and the ways it is given meaning, regulated, and subjected to legal and medical oversight in a variety of social contexts (particularly when the body in question violates norms for how a culture believes bodies "ought" to behave or appear). Sociologists contributing to the last part use the bodily as a lens through which to study social institutions and experiences. These social settings range from personal decisions about medical treatment to programs for teaching police recruits how to use physical force, from social movement tactics to countries' understandings of race and national identity. The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of the Body also prioritizes empirical evidence and methodological rigor, attending to the ways particular lives are lived in particular physical bodies located within particular cultural and institutional contexts. Many chapters offer extended methodological reflections, providing guidance on how to conduct sociological research on the body and, at times, acknowledging the role the authors' own bodies play in developing their knowledge of the research subject.


1. Introduction: Toward a Sociology of the Body
Katherine Mason and Natalie Boero
2. Methodologies for Categories in Motion
Maxine Leeds Craig
3. Pregnant Embodiment and Field Research
Jennifer Randles
4. Sensory Experience and Method
Kelvin E.Y. Low and Noorman Abdullah
5. Mixed Methods in Body and Embodiment Research
Samantha Kwan and Trenton M. Haltom
6. YouTube Vlogs as Illness Narratives: Methodological Consideration
Natalie Kay Fullenkamp and Kristin Barker
7. Representations of Fatness by Experts and the Media and How This Shapes Attitudes
Abigail C. Saguy
8. Health at Every Size (HAESTM) as a Reform (Social) Movement within Public Health: A Situational Analysis
Natalie Ingraham
9. Fat as a Floating Signifier: Race, Weight, and Femininity in the National Imaginary
Sabrina Strings
10. Animal, Mechanical and Me: Organ Transplantation and the Ambiguity of Embodiment
Gillian Haddow
11. Aging, Gender, and the Body
Laura Hurd Clarke
12. Beyond Binary Sex and Gender Ideology
Cary Gabriel Costello
13. Male Breast Cancer in the Public Imagination
Piper Sledge
14. The Labor of Consumption -or- What Does It Take to Make Men Beautiful?
Kristen Barber
15. Feeding and Fasting Bodies
Jaita Talukdar
16. Contrasting Scientific Discourses of Skin Lightening in Domestic and Global Contexts
Celeste Vaughan Curington and Miliann Kang
17. Unruly Bodies: Figurative Violence and The State's Responses to The Black Panther Party
Randolph Hohle
18. Race, Phenotype, and Nationality in Brazil and the United States
Tiffany D. Joseph
19. The Aesthetic Labor of Ethnographers
Kjerstin Gruys and David J. Hutson
20. Bodies That Don't Matter, But Labor That Does: The Low Wage Male Migrant in Singapore and Dubai
Laavanya Kathiravelu
21. Embodied Spatial Practices and the Power to Care
Elise Paradis, Warren Liew, and Myles Leslie
22. Contesting New Markets for Bodily Knowledge: When and How Experts Draw the Line
Rene Almeling
23. Managing Risky Bodies: From Pregnancy to Vaccination
Jennifer A. Reich
24. The Artificial Pancreas in Cyborg Bodies
Anthony Ryan Hatch, Julia T. Gordon, and Sonya R. Sternlieb
25. Contesting Lyme Disease
Sonny Nordmarken
26. Laying Hands and Learning to Touch and Grab in the Police Academy
Brian Lande
27. The Place of the Body in Resistance to Intimate Partner Violence: What Do We Know?
Valli Rajah and Meg Osborn

About the author: 

Natalie Boero is a professor of Sociology at San Jose State University. Her work focuses on body size, healthcare inequalities, and qualitative methodology. Her current research focuses on illness narratives of dialysis patients with end-stage renal disease. Her work has appeared in Body and Society, Qualitative Sociology, and Fat Studies. She is the author of Killer Fat (2012). Katherine Mason is an assistant professor of Sociology and Women's & Gender Studies at Wheaton College (Massachusetts). She researches health and body inequalities, focusing on how people's care and cultivation of their bodies serves as a vector for the reproduction of social stratification. Her work has appeared in Social Problems, Fat Studies, and Sexuality Research and Social Policy.

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